The ABC Rural released an article this week that made me see red. The article announces the NSW Government will spend $9 million on a deer control program, which it says will be on a scale unlike anything that has been tried anywhere in Australia.
The article titled “Deer hunting failure prompts new research into baiting and trapping methods to stop deer ‘plague’ “ couldn’t be further off the mark as its reference area is Kosciuszko National Park, where hunting has never been permitted.
Ted Rowley, a whose property borders the park, has now been quoted in three separate articles calling for the deer to be condemned and alternate methods to hunting be used as control. Ted is the go-to whenever a grim picture is needed to be painted against deer and hunters’ ability to control them.
Late last year Sporting Shooter predicted that baiting would be on the cards when deer regulations in NSW were massively reduced.
The ABC Rural Desk reported National Parks and Wildlife Service would deliver the pilot research project that will pioneer untried deer control techniques.
Trapping and baiting, feeder and lures will be tried and evaluated, supplementing existing ground-based shooting control
The research program will also invest heavily in monitoring and deer behaviour analysis as well as aerial culling.
A report by the Natural Resources Commission in 2017 showed over four years from 2005–2009, the deer population increased by 30 per cent across NSW.
The report also warned that without a change in regulation, the feral animals could run wild across the entire state.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the additional funding would operate across public and private land.
“Nothing of this scale has been undertaken anywhere else in Australia,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Deer don’t care who owns the land they inhabit, and all land managers need to work together to tackle this growing problem.”
They believe hunting has failed. However, they have never given it a chance
Ted Rowley, the most quoted beef cattle producer in Australia has a farm that lies adjacent to the Kosciuszko National Park, said the deer were in plague-like proportions.
Working alongside his five neighbours and with the assistance of a commercial shooter, Mr Rowley shot 5,000 deer in 2018.
However, without an investment in monitoring and research, Mr Rowley said it was difficult to know whether his efforts would reduce to the total population. (Seems they reduced the population by 5000 in that instance alone. Marcus O’Dean’s comment)
“We don’t know whether that is enough to manage the population, whether it reduces it, or if we are a long way short,” he said.
“Deer are really smart and they learn really fast — hunting has failed to control the deer population and that’s been demonstrated over a long period of time.
“Deer learn to avoid shooters, vehicles and lights — the more you shoot them the harder it gets.
The writing is on the wall. This will be 9 million dollars down the drain when hunters are waiting to utilise these resources. The result of this program will be poison in our parks and the removal of game status for deer. Farmers already have every right to control deer how they like. The problem is access for hunters.
Victoria makes millions from public land and national park hunting. It’s about time NSW followed suit and cashed in while minimising the problem.